A top-level poker pro who has had a long and distinguished career in most forms of poker.
Jungleman's success story began like so many other poker players in the heyday of online poker - he gave up going to college in search of big winnings and totally immersed himself in the game. He preferred to learn through practice and courses on CardRunners but within a year he was competing head-to-head with the site's top trainers and by the age of 20 was winning several million dollars.
Cates has also been at the centre of many poker scandals, from making snide remarks about opponents to appearing in nudity-filled Dan Bilzerian-style movies. Cates' most famous conflict came as part of the sensational ‘Durrrr’ Challenge against Tom Dwan. Many years later the bout never came to fruition, but the win over a seemingly formidable opponent (at an interim total of $1.2 million in Cates’ favour) made him popular with the general public.
Daniel specialised in heads-up cash for the first few years and was considered the strongest player in Hold'em and Omaha by the mid-2010s but has become a recognised expert in all the major divisions of poker over the years. Live tournaments are no exception, with two WPT titles, an EPT title and millions of dollars in prize money in Super High Roller events.
When I was a teenager, my parents thought I was going to become a recluse. They tried to confine me to computer games. It didn't work out, no matter how hard they tried. I played Command & Conquer and for a while I was one of the best at that game. Not the best, but people who were better than me spent a lot more time playing the game. I used my C&C training methods later when I started to learn poker.
The nickname Jungleman stuck to me from live games. I had a lot more hair back then. I probably looked like Tarzan, so they called me 'Jungleman'. I thought the nickname would be fun in online poker, so I chose that. I had a PokerStars nickname before that, which was w00ki3z. I made it up when I was 13 years old and playing for play money.
If you want to get better, you have to think, discuss and observe, not just play a lot. It's important to study other people's games. Not only to understand in which situations your opponents play better, but also to understand how they think.